The Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings will officially launch on September 16.
That is when the 45th BMW Berlin Marathon marks the start of the one-year qualification period for the inaugural AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships, which will take place in spring 2020.
The third event to follow in the series is Africa’s very own Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, taking place on Sunday 23 September.
Participants in an AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking qualifying race will earn points according to their age, time and gender, aligned with the following age groups for men and women: 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+.
From Cape Town to Mumbai, Tel Aviv to Toronto and Houston to Helsinki, there will be more than 50 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Qualifying events.
The spread of the selected marathon events creates a truly global series throughout the year, giving runners across the world the chance to be part of a new era of age group marathon running.
Tim Hadzima, Executive Director of Abbott World Marathon Majors said: “We are very excited to be launching the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings at the BMW Berlin Marathon.
“More than 125 000 runners aged 40+ participate in AbbottWMM races each year and this new system will allow even more runners to become a part of the AbbottWMM family.
“Our new system will give runners a chance to run all over the world and all across the calendar on a truly global stage. It will give them a chance to gain recognition like never before.
“We are proud to be working with all our partners to take age group marathon running to the next level and showcase the achievements of these everyday champions.”
The premier AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships will be held as part of the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2020.
Welcoming more than 40 000 runners to the start line each year, London is one of the most popular marathons on the planet with more than 414 000 ballot entries for the 2019 edition.
Runners can earn a place at the start line of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon through the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings, and represent their countries with pride and passion.
Olympian and race ambassador for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, Elana van Zyl-Meyer, comments: “This is a huge endorsement for Africa’s iconic city marathon, as it solidifies our place on the world ranking stage.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this spectacular series and look forward to welcoming even more senior age-group participants to the Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label status marathon.”
Abbott, who renewed their title sponsorship of the AbbottWMM in April 2018, extending their partnership to 2023, is proud to be a part of the expansion of mass participation marathon running globally.
“Around the world, Abbott delivers life-changing technologies that help people live fully,” said Chris Miller, divisional vice president, global brand strategy and Innovation, Abbott.
“We’re thrilled to help recognise the efforts of marathon runners as they strive to lead their age groups and achieve their personal health goals.”
The 10-year partnership between Abbott World Marathon Majors and Wanda was announced in April 2017, and since then, the calendar of events that make up the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings for the inaugural World Championships has been created, with plans for many more events to be added in the coming years.
Route Focus: TABLE MOUNTAIN:— Cape Town Marathon (@CTMarathon) September 10, 2018
8th wonder of the world:This flat topped mountain with its unique shape casts a protective shadow on the Mother City, watching the city + the 2 oceans on either side.
Our races will be blessed with running in view of + in shadow of this iconic sight. pic.twitter.com/B5RVVa32dM
Twenty-three Wanda/Ironman-produced marathon events will be part of the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings for the 2018/2019 season.
This includes the Rock ’n Roll marathons in Madrid, Liverpool and multiple cities across the United States, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and the Chengdu Panda Marathon.
Other marathons in the series include geographical representation from around the world, such as Cape Town, Moscow, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Toronto, Mexico City and many more!
Hengming Yang, CEO of Wanda Sports Group, said: “As a strategic partner, we are very pleased to be part of the inaugural Wanda AbbottWMM Age Group World Championships, and we are very proud that we can help develop the running experience of age group runners across the globe.”